On 9 December 1997, the European Commission introduced a new Directive from the Council to alter Directive 82/714/EEG (TRW-001) of 4 October 1982 on laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels. With this proposal, the European Commission aims at bringing the community technical requirements in agreement with the advanced standards of the navigation on the Rhine. The Commission’s ultimate goal is the creation of a single common standard for the entire European Inland waterway network. The goal of these technical requirements was to promote good building practices and to make sure the ships’ stability is in line with their specific function. Thus for example, the hull should be strong enough as to withstand all forces that are put on it. In the same way all water intakes and outlets have to be engineered in such a way that uncontrolled water intake is impossible.
Through this proposal, the Commission strived for a Community Certificate for inland waterway vessels, which would be an equivalent to the Rhine navigation certificate. The creation of this legal equivalence implies an amendment of the Mannheim Convention: the complementary protocol No. 7, which entered into force on 1 December 2004. On 14 July 2004, an updated version of the Directive was published and the process could continue. On 12 December 2006, the decision-making process was completed with the approval of the European Parliament and the Commission (TRW-002).
Some relevant documents:
TRW-002: Directive of the European Parliament and the Council of 12 December 2006 laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels and repealing Council Directive 82/714/EEC (European Parliament and the Council)
TRW-001: Council Directive of 4 October 1982 laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels (European Council)